Vegetarian chili review

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

With harvest season upon us, the recipe collection project team has another review to help you make the most of late summer cooking opportunities that we’re fortunate to have here in Southern Ontario. This one should be of particular interest to those of you looking to find a good home for your farmer’s market or backyard garden bounty.

This time around, Tenille Holm, Srivastava Intern, Special Collection & Archives has thoughtfully reviewed Maureen Russell’s Vegetarian chili from page 91 of the 1982 recipe collection and — SPOILER — it’s a winner.

Reviewed by Tenille Holm

What did you like about the recipe?  

 This recipe is loaded with vegetables and warming spices. I think it would have been even more enjoyable on a cool autumn or winter day (rather than the blistering heat of mid-summer). The ingredients were simple and easy to locate. I am also a big fan of chili but have struggled to find a comparable vegetarian option. This one satisfied everything that I look for in a chili. The cashews made for an interesting texture, and the sweetness of the raisins rounded out the flavour profile in a very satisfying way. 

 What did/would you change?  

 This recipe was far bigger than I needed, so I reduced many of the ingredients to make a smaller recipe. I used one 796 ml can diced tomatoes, and two 540 ml cans unsalted kidney beans. I reduced the spices by about half, and used a can of Coors beer, instead of a bottle. I did not change the fresh vegetable amounts as I like a veggie-forward chili. I used golden raisins and reduced the amount to ¼ c (although when I make this again, I will likely do ½ c as I am a big fan of sweet and spicy flavour combos) and reduced the cashews to ½ c (again, I will probably do the full ¾ c next time as I enjoyed the crunch). I enjoy spice, so I added 1 tbsp of habanero hot sauce to get more kick. 

The author forgot to list garlic in the ingredients but does mention it in the directions. I used three large cloves. 

General comments   

This recipe was very easy to follow, only required one pot so there was minimal clean up, and I did not have to stand over the stove and watch it (stirred maybe every 15 minutes or so). I allowed it to simmer for about one hour. The celery still had a little crunch to it, which I like, but others may want to extend their cooking time if they don’t prefer their veggies el dente. I served this with tex-mex cheese and a dollop of sour cream. I highly recommend this recipe for people who enjoy chili but are looking for meatless options.

Rating out of 5  

5/5 — I was very satisfied with this recipe and how it turned out!  

Small round bowl with cheese and sour cream topped chili and a spool inside